If you are not familiar with Johnny’s writing (aka The Lioness), you will not be aware of the pain she has been going through for quite some time. Her best friend, Uzi Saghi, was killed in the tsunami. Because of Johnny’s writing and Uzi’s character, Uzi became extremely real for me and many others. If you are interested in finding out more of this wonderful, beautiful man with an amazing sense of humor, I would suggest clicking on this link here. It leads you to the archive that she set up for all of her posts about him.

Her latest post is about him and her pets and about Israel. It makes you laugh and cry at the same time. While I was reading it and laughing about the antics of her pets, I could almost feel Uzi laughing with me. Johnny’s been surrounded by butterflies lately and we believe that they are sent from Uzi to remind her that he still around, even though she can’t see him, he’s still there.

I’ve always believed that those we love continue to stay around to watch over us. I believe in angels. I believe that dying doesn’t mean you lose your sense of humor. And I have two experiences that I’m going to share with you.

High School

Back in 1984-1985, when I was going to school in Mahtomedi, there was a young man who was in my class. His name was Doug. He killed himself. This was a shock to the entire school since Mahtomedi was very small and this was the 80’s and stuff like this just didn’t happen, even though the year before another student had killed himself. It was a devastating time for all of us, including me. Even though Doug and I were not close at all, a part of me felt that I should have known what was going on, should have been able to stop him, should have been able to help him find help, since I was also suicidal at the time.

After he died, I remembered seeing him walk by me in the hallway shortly before he killed himself. I berated myself for not saying hello to him or stopping to talk to him or doing something. I suppose this is not uncommon for people after a death. I became even more depressed and blamed myself for everything that went wrong.

Two things changed this. On the day of Doug’s funeral, we were allowed to take the day off and attend the funeral if we chose. My friends and I (Kathy and Sue) piled into Kathy’s car after the funeral to go to the gravesite. Those of you from America know that when a funeral procession goes by, it is customary to have the lights on during the middle of the day and drive extremely slow. I’m not sure if this custom is observed in any other countries. Well, apparently, someone decided that he didn’t care that we were on our way to a gravesite and decided to cut in front of the car two cars before us.

Well, you guessed it. Car A cut in front of Car B, Car B tried to slam on their brakes, Car C ended up rear-ending Car B. Car DM (oh, like I could resist it) managed to stop in time. There were no injuries. However, the accident took some time, checking to make sure everyone was okay, was there any damage, etc. By the time we got back into the car and started driving again, we realized something…we had lost the funeral procession.

The next 15-20 minutes was a comedy of errors. Trying to find the grave yard (because no one paid attention when they told us where it was), driving through Lakewood Cemetary, losing Car B and Car C because they went the opposite way of us, catching up with Car B, exchanging glances of “How many cemetaries are there in this area anyway?” while we drove around. At one point, I started giggling uncontrollably and said I knew this had something to do with Doug. If he was watching, and I was sure he was, he was probably either laughing or had been responsible for the whole mix-up in the first place. Kathy and Sue agreed and we had a moment of laughter, as opposed to a moment of silence. It was nice.

Finally, finally, we ran (not literally) into one of the motorcycle cops on his way back from the graveyard. He stopped when he saw us and waved his hand, motioning for us to follow him as he turned around and led us to the cemetary. Where we had to explain to our teachers that, no, we did not ditch out of the funeral procession, we had been involved in an accident.

The next thing that happened that helped me break through the depression and realize that there was nothing I could have done to prevent Doug’s suicide was a dream I had one night. I dreamt that I was walking through the cemetary where Doug was buried and came across his grave stone. There he was, sitting on top of it. We had a conversation about how I wasn’t responsible for his death, it was his choice and I should go on with my life and that suicide was definitely not the answer. I woke up, feeling refreshed for the first time in a long time. I think that dream is one of the reasons why I am still here. There have been times when the depression overwhelms and I seriously think life is too hard and it would be better if it was all over. And then I remember this dream and decide to carry on. Which, now that I’ve found Effexor, is something I’m really glad for.


I’ve posted about this before. Here is the link about my memories of my Dad from last Father’s Day. But, if you don’t want to go there, here is the part I wanted to bring up, quoted exactly from my post.

Dad died on April 10, 1994. Exactly one month shy of his 70th birthday. He was cremated and my brothers, sisters, and I visited the park where his parents were married to release his ashes. As we said our goodbyes to him, we each took a handful of ashes and tossed him into the wind. Suddenly, this wind changed direction and Dad’s ashes came flying back into our faces! For a brief few moments, all you heard was the “ptoo-ptoo” sound as we tried to get the taste of our father out of our mouths. Then one of us (not sure who) said, “Dad always had a good sense of humor.” Another one said “Yes and he’s kind of salty.” Well, what are you going to do but laugh?

I know he was there. I know he was laughing. He had a bizarre sense of humor that he passed on to me. Here are some examples of how he warped…I mean molded me.

Anyway, my point to all of this is that I do believe in Life After Death. I do believe in Heaven. I also believe in Reincarnation (don’t ask. I can’t reconcile it with being a Christian but I do). And I believe that there are ways that those we love reach out to us to say “Hey! I’m not gone. I’m still here. I still love you.”

Uzi, I’ll never forget you. I regret that I never met you in real life. But I’m really glad that I know you now. You’re pretty damn cool.

Okay, Jeff wants the computer. I am off to find some sort of food and read for awhile.